See and Do

Discover the islands of Lewis and Harris at Mangersta Croft Holidays.

Traigh Mhangurstaigh

Our Glamping Cabins are located in a national scenic area. Breath-taking beaches, coastal and hill walks are literally on our doorstep. That’s why we live here! Mangersta is a tiny crofting village in the parish of Uig, a peninsula on the Atlantic coast of Lewis and a microcosm of every kind of environment that the Outer Hebrides are famed for, all within convenient reach.

A hidden cove, one of many Uig beaches

There are over 17 shell sand beaches, with crystal clear water, ranging from tiny hidden coves to the vast expanse of sands around Uig Bay.

Uig Sands

Our personal favourites are 1. Traigh Mhangurstaigh (obviously) which is a 5 min. walk from here 2. A little beach that we like to keep secret 3. Traigh na Beirigh – also known as Reef Beach on the Bhaltos pensinsula. The fact is that all of Uig's beaches are absolutely stunning and worthy of a visit.

Machair, one of the rarest habitats in Europe, fringes the beaches. Here a combination of nature and human cultivation has produced grassland rich in a wide variety of wild flowers. Orchids, hare-bells, lady’s bedstraw, wild carrot, thyme, bird’s foot trefoil are just a few of the species that you can often find within 1 square metre of machair soil.

The Mangersta Headland surrounds us with high cliffs, sea stacks and sea arches, populated by sea-birds. The Mangersta Bothy, an incredible stone-walled shelter, built over 30 years ago by the founders of The Linda Norgrove Foundation, is perched on the edge of a sheer cliff-face facing out towards the North Atlantic Ocean.

The cliff-tops are a unique environment of serpentine heath, jewelled by colourful flowers like Spring Squill, Moss Campion, Scot’s Primrose and Sea Pink in Spring and Summer, and pounded by huge waves in the Winter.

There are vast tracts of moorland pocketed with freshwater lochs, many are full of brown trout, and are ideal for fishing. The smaller lochans are often covered with white Water Lilly and fringed with Bog Bean and Northern Marsh Orchids.

There are no Munros to bag but the highest hills on the Isle of Lewis are in Uig and make for enjoyable hiking. Mangersta is located at the foot of Mealaisbhal, summit height 574m.

The Uig Hills and Mangersta Beach

The variety of landscapes in one small area makes Uig an ideal location for wild-life watching. Large Birds of Prey including Sea Eagles or White-tailed Eagles, Golden Eagles, Buzzards and Ravens are regularly spotted here.

Sea Eagles on Mangersta Common Grazings

Seals, red deer, gannets, fulmars, red-throated divers, golden plovers, lapwing, herons, oyster-catchers, sky-larks, moss carder bees, and the common blue butterfly are amongst the many species that you are quite likely to see on a holiday. Otters and Mountain Hares are more elusive creatures but are present in the landscape.

Puffins on the Flannan Isles

Sea lochs cut deep inland and off-shore islands are scattered all around the coast. Colonies of seals and basking sharks are frequently spotted in these waters. Dolphins and whales also pass by the coast from time to time. There are puffin and gannet colonies on the Flannan Isles which lie 20 miles off-shore.

A common seal in Loch Roag

Local company, Seatrek run exhilarating boat trips around the Uig Coast and beyond to the Flannan Isles and St Kilda. The trips leave from the pier at Maivig.

Sea Trek boat trip in Loch Roag

With very little human development, history remains etched into the land. There are archaeological sites all around, burial cairns, promontory enclosures, ancient field systems, the walls of villages and black-houses abandoned during the Highland Clearances and the tumbled stones of Norse mills wait to be discovered on a coastal walk. Our local Comman Eachdraidh Uig: Uig Historical Society is a treasure trove of information on local history and is open to visitors between April and September. There are so many incredibly beautiful places to visit within Uig that you may not want to leave. For more ideas for things to do on a holiday see our Hebridean Links

A walk to the summit of Conachair during a boat trip to St Kilda

As Lewis and Harris are part of the same land mass, there are also many attractions that can be reached on a day trip from Mangersta. Stornoway, the only town in the Outer Hebrides, is a one hour drive. Here you will find shops, pubs, super-markets, restaurants, a sports centre, museums and galleries.

The Lewis Chessman, one of the most significant archaeological finds in the UK on display at Museum nan Eilean

An Lanntair Arts Centre has a year round programme of contemporary performing arts, cinema and visual art exhibitions. HebCelt the islands award winning Celtic music festival takes place annually in July in the grounds of Lews Castle.

Salsa Celtica performing at HebCelt

A trip up the west side of Lewis can take you to the Iron Age house at Bosta Beach on the Isle of Great Bernera (a 45 min drive). The Callinish Stones, a complex of several stone circles are a 45 minute drive. These are amongst Scotland's best preserved Neolithic monuments, dating back 5000 years.

The Callinish Stones

Continue north from Callinish to visit Dun Carloway, a remarkably well preserved Iron Age Broch. A few miles beyond this is the The Arnol Blackhouse Museum, a traditional, fully furnished thatched house which offers a fascinating insight into past island life.

The Arnol Blackhouse Museum

The west side route ends at the Butt of Lewis Lighthouse, built in 1862 and designed by David Stevenson, it is situated at the most northerly point in the Outer Hebrides and is a 2 hour drive from Mangersta.

Butt of Lewis Lighthouse

Although Harris is just down the coast from Uig it takes a little bit longer to get to by road. There are many places of interest to visit, including the Harris Distillery in Tarbert (a 1.5 hour drive), the famous beaches at Luskentyre (a 1.45 hour drive) and St Clement’s Church in Rodel, an atmospheric medieval church. Rodel is at the most southerly tip of Harris and is a 2 hour drive from Mangersta Croft Holidays.

St Clement's Church

Scattered throughout the Outer Hebrides there are many small art and crafts shops and galleries, a network of community museums and a trail of sculptures which will add interest to any journey. For maps, photographs, opening times, and to download PDF files of the Made in the Outer Hebrides booklet, please click on the links below: